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20 October
Sunday

World

Narendra Modi’s Party to win the reelection in India

Election Commission data showed the Bharatiya Janata Party leading in contests for 299 out of 542 seats

Photo: AP

/NOVOSTIVL/ Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party claimed it won reelection with a commanding lead in Thursday’s vote count, while the head of the main opposition party conceded a personal defeat that signaled the end of an era for modern India’s main political dynasty. This article appeared in the Associated Press.

Election Commission data by midafternoon showed the Bharatiya Janata Party leading in contests for 299 out of 542 seats in the lower house of Parliament, with its main rival, the Indian National Congress, ahead in 50 contests.

The data didn’t indicate what percentage of the estimated 600 million votes cast over the six-week election had been counted. Although the final tally was not expected until Thursday evening at the earliest, BJP President Amit Shah claimed a victory, crediting Modi’s leadership.

Modi himself tweeted, "India wins yet again".

The election has been seen as a referendum on 68-year-old Modi, whose economic reforms have had mixed results but whose popularity as a social underdog in India’s highly stratified society has endured. Critics have said his Hindu-first platform risks exacerbating social tensions in the country of 1.3 billion people.

On the campaign trail, Modi presented himself as a self-made man with the confidence to cut red tape and unleash India’s economic potential, and labeled Congress party president Rahul Gandhi, the scion of a political dynasty that lost national power in 2014, as an out-of-touch member of the elite.

Gandhi conceded defeat for his own parliamentary seat to his BJP rival in Amethi, a constituency in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh that had for decades been a Congress party bastion.

Congress, the party of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and peace activist Mahatma Gandhi, ruled India for nearly half a century after it achieved independence from Britain in 1947. In 2014, it won only 44 seats, and was projected to win only slightly more this time.

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